The five hectare Leuville Estate, where the first government of Georgia settled in exile in 1921 after fleeing their country in the wake of the Soviet military invasion, was officially transferred to Georgia on September 23.
Historic deal - Leuville Estate transferred to Georgia
By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, September 26
The signing of the final act was held in Leuville, located 37 kilometers from Paris as a result of which, after 89 years, the estate is returned to its legal owners - the people of Georgia.
The transfer document was signed by Gela Dumbadze, the State Minister of Georgia for Diaspora Issues from the side of Georgian Government, while representatives of the families of the government of the first Democratic Republic of Georgia signed for France.
Minister of Justice of Thea Tsulukiani, Ambassador of Georgia to France Ekaterine Siradze-Delone, Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to France Gocha Javakhishvili, as well as representatives of Leuville City Hall and the Georgian diaspora also attended the ceremony of the Leuville land transfer to Georgia.
According to Gela Dumbadze, the Georgian government will spend 5,600,000 Euros over 10 years on the chateau estate for further development of the property.
“The historic profile of the estate will be maintained, and a Georgian-French culture centre will be created here,” he added.
Famous Georgian writer Lasha Bughadze, who visited the land a few years ago, says the whole estate is filled with unique books and documents.
“The whole place is home to important historical artifacts and stories. I think this place should be carefully studied,” said Bughadze.
The Leuville estate is Georgia’s important historic milestone as it used to be the residence of the first government in exile representatives of Georgia. After Georgia’s three-year independence, Russia’s 11th Red Army entered the country in February 1921 and the first Georgian government officials, chaired by Noe Zhordania and their families, boarded the Ernest Renan ship and sailed to Paris, where they acquired the chateau in 1927 using Georgian state finances and founded the Georgian Association. A total of 30 emigrant families lived in 15 flats inside the castle and never lost the hope to return to their homeland.